FICCI organized 5th India Industry Water Conclave

Govt to focus on demand-side of water management: Union for Jal Shakti, Sh. Gajendra Singh Shekhawat

24th January 2020, New Delhi: Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Hon’ble Union Minister, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Govt of India, today said that now the time has come to focus on supply-side management of water conservation instead of just demand-side management.

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While speaking at the 5th edition of India Industry Water Conclave and 7th edition of FICCI Water Awards, organized by FICCI, the Union Minister said that the government also already started adopting the latest technologies in water management. He said that rural areas are not getting covered with 3D aquifer mapping to ensure the exact water level in the area. “We have to ensure as to how we can reduce the water usage, recycle it and re-use it,” added Shri Shekhawat.product 1

He said that the National Groundwater Management Improvement Scheme, (worth Rs 6000 crores), will be supported with financial assistance from World Bank, Rs 3000 crores and remaining by the government through budgetary support.  

He further said that the government has recently launched ‘Atal Bhujal Yojna’ which is a groundwater management scheme and it is based on the participation by all concerned stakeholders. “First time we have initiated a pilot scheme for demand-side management which will cover 400 districts in 7 states”, he added.

The Union Minister said that state participation is key in solving the issue of water management and emphasized the need for adopting best practices that states have already implemented in water conservation. “There is a need to expand the time-tested proven technologies and government is working in that direction,” he said.

Highlighting the role of the corporate sector in water management, Shri Shekhawat said that the government alone cannot solve the issue, hence all stakeholders including the corporate sector should come forward. “I urge the industry to come forward and invest in the hydrological system and can play an active role in promoting wastewater use,” he added.

Shri Parameswaran Iyer, Secretary, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Govt of India, emphasized on ‘People’s Participation’ and highlighted the government’s focus on the subsidiarity principle and the need for state action. He added that the government has set up an innovation task force to improve the efficiency of water. “Water is very much on the national agenda. Water conservation needs to be managed at the grassroots levels,” he said.

He said that source sustainability will become a critical part of Jal Jeevan Mission. He referred to four principles for water management including political leadership and people participation. He also emphasized the greater focus of the government highlighting the ABCDEF (Alignment, Belief, Communication, Delivery, Experience, Forum) of the implementation.

Shri Upendra Prasad Singh, Secretary, Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Govt of India, urged the industry to play a responsible role in water conservation and reflect on the adoption of traditional practices and source sustainability. He also emphasized on the need for basin authority for effective and efficient water management.

Shri Singh added that the government is serious in ensuring water security but also suggested industry to also contribute to this. He further added that it is important that we create awareness about water literacy in the country.

Ms. Naina Lal Kidwai, Chairman, FICCI Water Mission and Past President, FICCI highlighted the need for a much stronger regulatory framework and also suggested having a national wastewater policy. She also urged for greater corporate stewardship.

“Water use efficiency is a key determinant in addressing both quantity and quality of water and for this, the circular approach towards water needs to be addressed at war footing to utilize water optimally across the industry, agriculture, and urban demands,” Ms. Kidwai added.

Dr. Mihir Shah, Chair, FICCI Water Awards and Chairman of the Government’s Committee to Draft the National Water Policy acknowledged the changing tradition towards the democratization of water and emphasized the need for active participation of primary stakeholders during the formulation of policy and regulatory measures for effective implementation.

Mr. Mukund Vasudevan, Co-chair, FICCI Water Mission, and Managing Director & Country Head, Ecolab also shared his perspective on water management.

The 7th edition of FICCI Water Awards was also given away during the event.

Industrial Water Use Efficiency Category: Arvind Limited was awarded 1st prize in the Industrial Water Use Efficiency Category for its efforts on water-efficient foam dyeing technology, Reverse Osmosis, desalination, and reuse of wastewater, steam condensation and condensate recovery system.

Innovation in Water Technology: SSP Private Limited was awarded 1st prize under the Innovation in Water Technology Category for their innovations on Reverse Osmosis to recover portable water and desalination of brine to recover water and table salt.

Water Initiative by NGO: WASH Institute and Pratiks Enviro Foundation were awarded joint 1st prize under the Water Initiatives by NGO Category. WASH Institute was awarded for its efforts on solid-liquid separation and sludge thickening and effluent treatment. Pratiks Enviro Foundation was awarded for its efforts on the anaerobic and anoxic process and for carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus removal.

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First National Water Mission Awards 2019

20190925 NWM Awards
Photo Credit: National Water Mission

Sanjaya K. Mishra @sanjayakmishra

National Water Mission (NWM), Department of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti was set up in 2011 based on the National Action Plan on the Climate Change, which was prepared in 2008. In his address, Hon’ble Mission Director, Shri G. Asok Kumar said that “We are all associated with water in one way or other. Most of us here are water warriors.” While elaborating the process of selecting the winner, he mentioned that the award process was initiated started six months back and went through a rigorous screening and assessment. This is the first time ‘National Water Mission Awards’ were presented to recognize excellence in water conservation, efficient water use and sustainable water management practices. He also expressed hope that this award will set a benchmark in the water sector.

Shri U. P. Singh, Hon’ble Secretary, Department of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti started his speech with a beautiful quote “रहिमन पानी राखिये, बिन पानी सब सून। पानी गये न ऊबरे, मोती, मानुष, चून॥.” He expressed that it is a matter of delight to be here to acknowledge for the first time the people who have worked in the direction of five goals set by NWM. In his address, he reminded the Prime Minister’s focus on water conservation and water management through a people’s movement. Shri Singh also said that there are many people in India who ignorant about the groundwater scenario. He also mentioned about National Water Awards distributed in March 2019 and National Water Talk. While congratulating the award winners, he also expressed that he believes this award will motivate more and more people to do excellent work in the field of water conservation and management and also participate in future award programmes.

Shri Rattan Lal Kataria, Hon’ble Minister of State for Jal Shakti said in his address that water is at the core of sustainable development and for the survival of human itself. There is a close link between water and economic growth of the country. He emphasized that cooperation is a must for a sustainable tomorrow and Jal Shakti Ministry is an example in itself of such cooperation. He said that Integrated Water Management is a tool for poverty reduction and sustainable economic development. Shri Kataria also congratulated NWM for its continuously working towards making India more climate resilient.

Before prize distribution, the esteemed gathering took water pledge with Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Hon’ble Union Minister for Jal Shakti.

After the distribution of awards, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Hon’ble Union Minister for Jal Shakti addressed the gathering. He said that the time demands more than water saving and harvesting and practice water conservation. He elaborated about the water bodies and shared an example that the society has perceived the rivers as water sources, which are actually not sources but ways. He expressed his worry that today our nation has become the most water contaminated, which is a question of life and death for the industries. The Minister lamented on the fact that only 4% of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) obligation is spent on the water, while it is around 11% for the water-intensive industries and called for a rethink on the issue. He further advocated for the judicious and multiple uses of water are key to tackle the water challenge in India and urged the policy planners work in this direction, especially, in in the field of Agriculture and Industries. Hon’ble Union Minister also said that Jal-Andolan should become a true Jan-Andolan (People’s Movement) as exhorted by the Prime Minister to tide over the water scarcity in India.

NWM has 5 goals and 39 strategies prescribed in the Mission Document. One of the strategies of NWM under Goal IV is to incentivize the organization/ companies through awards for water conservation and efficient use of water. Hence, the NWM has initiated the ‘National Water Mission Awards’ to recognize excellence in water conservation, efficient water use and sustainable water management practices. The awards are given in ten categories defined under five goals of NWM. The prize money for the awards was First Prize – Rs. 2 lakh; Second Prize – Rs. 1.5 lakh and Third Prize – Rs. 1 lakh along with certificate and trophy.


Editorial: Jal Shakti Abhiyaan: A hit?

Sanjaya K. Mishra

Editor & Publisher, ENVIRO ANNOTATIONS

This article was published in the Editorial of ENVIRO ANNOTATIONS on 25th September 2019


A young girl asked an old man, “Hello Uncle, can you give me a bucket of water?” The old man replied, sure, my child. Then he counted on fingers and said it will cost you Rs. 2500/=. The girl got shocked. What? That’s too much of pity, she said. The old man replied, how come? Till there was plenty of water, you never bothered. This was a seamless play performed by a young, vibrant dramatic group in Delhi. Are we really approaching that situation? India receives the maximum rainfall in the world. Average annual rainwater received in India is 35 crore hectare liter against a demand of 12 to 15 crore hectare liter water. Thus, India is a water surplus country.

The Union Minister for Jal Shakti, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat had questioned once, about the impact of Jal Shakti Abhiyaan. It is visible. In Twitter, WhatsApp, Facebook, newspaper, TV, Radio and roadside tea, beetle stalls, everywhere – talk of water is ubiquitous. An IT professional from Bengaluru shared a message that he has abdicated use of jeans apparels because such products are water intensive during manufacturing. It is, however, important to know the water footprint of a product during its complete life cycle that includes stages of manufacturing as well as during the entire period of use. Groups of children in RWAs have become water guardians. Instead of enjoying vacations, in some societies children became a green army and water warriors to identify houses with frequently overflowing tanks and taught them lessons to stop misuse of water. Government officials, Individuals, NGOs, institutions – Jal Shakti Movement has created a compelling impact.

Some advertisements of the Ministry are seemingly drifted towards the fun side. Posting the photograph of Dabang with a punchline “Paani se darr nahi lagta Sahab” evades the seriousness of the grave issue. Similarly, advertising the subject with Hindi Cinema star like Aamir Khan, who has earlier done commercial promotions of the rigorous water intensive soft drink industry also seems far from befitting. Instead, the Ministry may change the dynamics of advertisements with data and numbers. For example, previous year rainfall received versus volume of rainwater harnessed and the same data for the current year after the massive movement started – could give a clear message to the nation. The groundwater and surface water quality could also be an indicator in this regard. As the Prime Minister himself has raised the issue more than once, different ministries may unite to prepare data. The MoEF&CC may ask for specific reports on qualitative and quantitative data on water from the projects accorded with environmental clearance. Similarly, the CGWA/CGWB, MoJS may also demand similar reports from the projects accorded with approval for groundwater abstraction. A holistic deliberation could bring in a far better impact on society.

Hon’ble President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind shared a tweet on September 24, 2019 “Managing and mapping groundwater resources is also an important aspect of water governance. The widespread use of boring machines has led to unregulated and excessive exploitation of groundwater. We have to value our groundwater and be responsible.” Shri Umakant Umrao, IAS, mentioned in a presentation that during the last 30 years, Rs. 8 to 10 Lakh Crore spent on bore well drilling. If this amount could have been spent in rainwater harvesting, the scenario could have been different. There is a need to identify illegal exploration of groundwater. Technology and devices should be made available to trace legal or illegal borewells. Whether work in this direction has started? If yes, it needs to be promoted and highlighted. Let us repose on the adage – Action speaks louder.

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